“Climax,Squirt, The Go-go Gang” etc. (Ada,pt3,ch3-459.09)

Submitted by William Hegan on Mon, 01/07/2019 - 03:30

I think Van has a sexual encounter (or encounters) very much on his mind when he lists the “SAPSUCKER” (another sucker comes to mind) paperback titles - which all have a ‘woodPECKER’on the spine.

In the first title he finds a willing girl (“The Gitanilla”). Next comes the ‘salty’ or ‘dirty’ talk during foreplay to arouse the two partners (“Salzman,Salzman,Salzman”). By the way, I find it hilarious that there is in Toronto a physical therapy company which advertises its ‘Salzmann Massage’! However Salzmann is the name of the company’s owner, and she is probably not an Ada fan.

The next title (“Invitation to a climax”- see BB light note re IB & Lolita) is quite obvious. Next is “SQUIRT” &  BB’s light note tells us that VN  glossed this as ‘ejaculation’.

The next title is “THE GO-GO GANG”. Here I think VN wanted to refer to what is ejaculated, ie semen. He knew or found in a dictionary that a slang word for semen is SPUNK. Never one to pass on making a puzzle for us to solve, his thought process went from Spunk to Spunky to Sparky to SPARKY AND THE GANG which was an alternate title for the fifties American TV show for kids called The Little Rascals. They were always on the ‘go’ - I remember as a primary school boy avidly following their adventures. It is just possible that boys with dirty minds, I guess that was all of us, called the show ‘Spunky & the gang’ without knowing exactly why it was funny. No doubt VN was not amused by the show: BB’s light note quotes from an interview “I loathe popular pulp, I loathe go-go gangs”.

”The Threshold of pain” (men can empathize with this penile sensation upon starting a 2nd bout!) is followed by “The chimes of Chose”!? Perhaps the bells are also the balls (ie, testes) being readied for a 2nd time ( women know this trick ).

And the final title is (another ‘copy of) “The Gitanilla”. Here we go again! Van, you are the  man!



I wrote my first note about the Sapsucker titles just after reading Ada, pt.3,ch.3.

However, after reading chapter 5 I realize that the ‘sexual encounters’ described in the titles refer to a very specific sexual moment, ie the double masturbation Van performs while fantasizing about Gitanilla (as played by Ada ) in the movie he has been watching with Lucette.

This kind of prefiguring (or prophesying, day-dreaming the future, seeing a pattern which will be repeated, revealing universal ‘ideals’, etc) seems to be not only a literary technique which VN likes to use in his fiction but also an example of his theory of Time.

The specific title “The threshold of pain” in chapter 3 is echoed by “He welcomed the dull pain in his root” in chapter 5.

The repetition of the title “Gitanilla” after the climax-ejaculation sequence  in chapter 3 is VN’s biggest hint that the later double masturbation scene of chapter 5 is the subject of Van’s revery while waiting for the return of the concierge.